Counterparts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. told clients this week that the risk of a global recession “has risen materially.” To revive their confidence, they said they need to see a fading of the virus, a stronger and more creative response by economic policy makers, and for firms and banks not to slash jobs or lending. They also argued that the tumble in the cost of oil may not necessarily boost growth as much as historically because consumers will pocket the windfall from cheaper fuel prices.

Policy makers are already struggling to keep up, adding to concern that falling demand won’t be cushioned enough by stimulus.

The Federal Reserve’s emergency interest rate cut of March 3 failed to buoy investor confidence, adding to pressure on its officials to ease monetary policy and perhaps even slash rates to zero when they reconvene next week if not sooner. There are also calls for it to follow the Bank of England in channeling assistance to parts of the economy in most need.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde gets her chance to act on Thursday. She telegraphed action by telling European leaders that the region risks an economic shock that echoes the crisis of the last decade unless they act urgently. But she too is limited in her ability to respond given euro-area interest rates are already negative, a problem for Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda too.

That leaves fiscal policy, which should be more potent than monetary policy because it can be targeted and delivered in size. But governments are again proving sluggish in getting ahead of the crisis with the majority waiting for their nations to become infected before shifting and then only slowly.

While more governments are rolling out stimulus packages worldwide and are offering more than $130 billion of virus-relief steps, Trump’s administration has been slow crafting a plan after initially questioning the need for one.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised to do “whatever is necessary” on Wednesday, but the rhetoric has yet to be matched by a fiscal push in Europe’s largest economy, which is traditionally skeptical of opening the fiscal spigot.

Much of the economic data have yet to bear out the magnitude of the pain to the global economy. In some ways, though, the virus outbreak’s impact is more worrisome than even the financial crisis, given that it’s hitting a multitude of consumer and business channels and has crushed prospects for a full recovery in some sectors, said Taimur Baig, chief economist at DBS Bank in Singapore.

“This is the opposite transition from the crisis propagation perspective -- now we have the services sector basically coming to a standstill worldwide” while the financial system still is relatively healthy, said Baig, a former economist at the International Monetary Fund.

While the crisis of 2008-09 was a “classic financial crisis,” this time, “it’s not about fixing banks or putting capital in there -- it’s about saying the pandemic has ended. That’s what makes it very uncertain” as the virus has proved so hard to control, he said.